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A great theater will have a host of talented individuals that work on incredibly tight budgets and time lines, in order to be ready by the opening curtain. There are the actors, the directors, the musicians, and the costume designers. This last talent is hard to break into, but very gratifying.
To become a costume designer for the stage you must be ready to work hard and diversify your talents. A costume designer is expected to be able to stitch, sew, mend, and tear all sorts of different fabrics. They will also be expected to do it on the fly. (It's not uncommon for an actor's weight to fluctuate and thus render the costume unusable- unless the costume designer is able to save it!)
How does one learn all of these abilities? Well, it is possible to do independent research and practice in your own free time but it won't prepare you for the rush of the theater.
Costume designer hopefulls should break into the field by working for their local theaters. Many times a theater will take on interns. This hands on experience is the best way to learn the ins and outs of becoming a great costume designer. It's truly the best way to learn.